Come Follow Me: Act in Doctrine (Doctrine and Covenants 71-75, Jun 28-Jul 4) – powered by Happy Scribe
Welcome to Come, Follow Me Akton Doctrine with Mariana Richardson, Stephanie did Sorenson and our special guest, Elizabeth Clark. This week we will be studying Doctrine and covenants sections seventy one to seventy five. Our takeaways this week, our first the Lord. May we direct our plans and seasons, but simply ask us to serve him to. Even though missionary work may be difficult, if we labor with all our might, then lives will be blessed. And three, God has promised to assist us in fulfilling our callings.
We invite our viewers at home to share comments below about your experience implementing the Act and doctrine, an invitation to learn more about our guest through the biography in the video caption. Welcome. It’s so wonderful to have both of you with us and especially Elizabeth. It’s so great having you here. Thank you so much. I’m honored to be here with you and share this beautiful affection. Covenant’s my favorite.
Today, we will be discussing section seventy one to seventy five, which has just been so fun to study its kind of sections that maybe we are not as familiar with. And so, Stephanie, I know you are going to start with some introduction in terms of background.
Yeah, well, part of what my takeaway was for this section came from the historical background, because I just felt like it was really interesting to see what was what was happening here and the lessons that we can learn from that. We can see in the section heading for Section 70 one that the Prophet and Sidney Rigdon were translating the Bible. And so they were working on that, studying the scriptures. But at the same time, while they were doing that, the church was facing a lot of persecution.
In fact, we learn here that some of the unfriendly feelings that were developing against the church were because of people like Ezra Booth and some members of the church that had apostate ties and were now spreading rumors and ill news about about the church. And so at this time, Joseph in Sydney received this revelation where the Lord basically tells them, put on pause what you’re working on because we need to deal with this. I need you to go out and to preach the gospel.
It’s really interesting that his solution is not to go out and correct them, is just to preach the gospel, preach the word. And the power of the doctrine will help both the saints who are suffering during this time and help convince those that are speaking out against the church of what we truly do believe. Right. So that’s a good model for us. But the thing that stood out to me was just even this simple idea that the Lord redirects our plan sometimes.
Josephine Sydney, at this time we’re translating the Bible because that is what the Lord had asked them to do. It was an assignment and it was something that they had been inspired to do and they were working on. And now the Lord is saying, stop doing that and do something else. And it just made me think of all the times in my life where I have sometimes felt inspired to do something. And then the Lord redirects my path. And I think that’s OK.
It can be frustrating to us. But many times the Lord says there is a time, there is a season for different things. And I need you to focus on something else for just a little bit to do my work for my purposes. Right. As I was thinking about this concept, I found a great quote from elder Ronald Rass band and he said, Think of those times someday when the Lord has acted in your life and then acted again, treasure them as moments.
The Lord has shown confidence in you and in your choices, but allow him to make more of you than you can make of yourself on your own treasure. His involvement. Sometimes we consider changes in our plans as missteps on our journey. Think of them more as first steps to being on the Lord’s errand. And I just really loved that idea because sometimes we get frustrated in our own plans. The way we thought things were going to play out, what we were supposed to be doing is supposed to be doing.
And the Lord says, no, I need you to do this for a little while. And even in verse two, he says, I say unto you, proclaim unto the world in the regions roundabout and the church also for the space of a season. So he introduces this idea of there are seasons sometimes where we have different things that we that we need to be working on. Section seventy three, verse three, we can see that the Lord speaks to them again later and says, verily I say and to you, my servants, Joseph Smith Junior and Sidney Rigdon say, if the Lord, it is expedient to translate again.
So back at it. Right. And so that is just really interesting to me, because like I said, as I reflected on my own life experience, I can think of times where I knew I felt inspired to continue my education, for example. And then while I was in the process of doing that, I felt inspired that I should focus on marriage or motherhood or whatever for a season. And then even when I started working again, when my children were back in school, there were times during my work times where I felt inspired that I need to step back for a little while.
And that was scary to me because I thought, well, what if I can’t get back in? But the Lord was telling me I need you here instead. And then sometimes he said, it’s time to go back, it’s time again. And so I just have learned that we need to check in with the Lord regularly on our plans because he will change those to either of you. Have any thoughts about that?
Yes, I can think of so many, you know, I completely related to you and what you’re saying, I have felt that I have five children and I’ve gone through several stages already. You know, they’re still young. My oldest 16 just yesterday. And I completely agree with you how the Lord calls us to focus on certain areas and even certain children who may need our attention in focus. Right now, I’m going through a process. So when I’m focusing on myself and my growth, my kids are growing up and I feel that it’s time for me to to invest in myself and be there for them because they’re becoming adults.
And I want to be prepared for the needs that would come from them.
But I was also going to say that oftentimes in my life, it’s times and seasons. I think it’s interesting, too, because many of my children see me as a full time mom and now they see me as a full time something. Everything. Right. And so you are busy. Well, well, but I do think that that’s a fun times and seasons things. Sometimes we define ourselves too much by saying I am this, which is great, but the Lord wants us to maybe be something different.
And so I completely agree that we go to the Lord and ask him what he wants us to do at any given time.
Now, you bring up a point. I think this is something that is especially difficult for women because we have these things that we like to do. We have families. We feel the weight of the importance of our family responsibilities. And so sometimes there’s this struggle. And I have this quote from President James Foust and this is from nineteen ninety eight. And he said something that just really spoke to me. He said, Women today are encouraged by some to have it all money, travel, marriage, motherhood and separate careers in the world.
For women, the important ingredients for happiness are to forge an identity, serve the Lord, get an education, develop your talents, serve your family, and if possible, to have a family of your own. However, you cannot do all these things well at the same time. How can all of these roles be coordinated? I suggest that you can have it sequentially. Sequentially is a big word, meaning to do things one at a time, at different times.
The Book of Ecclesiastes says to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. So I have just learned that the trick is to let the Lord guide that sequence right. So even for Joseph, who had so many responsibilities as a prophet, the Lord is guiding him and saying, focus on translating for a little while now. Stop and do this now, do this. And so we too can follow that pattern in our lives and the Lord will help us to know.
One other thing just briefly that I wanted to mention is that I have noticed a really good example of this in the missionaries who have served during the pandemic where the Lord has redirected them. Right. And even for ones that were able to stay in the same mission, the way they were doing, everything changed. But there were many who had to come home. There were many who were reassigned to other missions. And the Lord has taught that the important thing is that we are serving him and that he will direct how and when and where we serve.
So no matter what we’re doing, it’s important that we follow him. I know you had an experience with mission called exactly where you were redirected as well. Could you share that?
Absolutely. Yeah, I was completely inside myself saying that is completely true. That happened to me there. So back in 2002, I received my calling to go and serve and it was an amazing calling. It was the Nauvoo, Illinois mission. And I was assigned to the historical places to give tours to people. And then I as a Mexican, I had to go and request my visa. So I traveled to the consulate, the nearest consulate, to request that visa.
And I was denied that visa. And I was heartbroken, you know, thinking like, how can I go and serve alone in this of Hispania? I can go, I can leave my country. I can enter the United States. So I went back home. I broke in and went back to my president and spoke to him about what had happened. I didn’t get any reasons why I was denied that visa. So my state president went ahead and contacted the Salt Lake City offices missionary department, and within a few weeks he received another mission call in the mail.
And my assignment had changed from Nashville, Illinois, to Salt Lake City Temple Square mission. I was excited, so I made plans to go to a different consulate. So I went to a very far away consulate, travel through bus for twelve hours, got there and I was denied the visa again. And I was double heartbroken, devastated by. Did I cry on my way back home and I just couldn’t explain why is that this is a mission call.
It’s been extended by a prophet of God, you know you know these things. And every time my faith, I was just a year into the church and I just went home thinking maybe this means I’m not supposed to serve a mission. So I went back home, pray, fasted with my state first the president again. And he said, Is your choice, Elizabeth, if you want to continue to wait for the coin to be for you to be able to fulfill this going.
So he goes by same store. He calls the Salt Lake City Missionary Department offices and and they said, we will work and go back to our leaders and discuss the situation. And so a few weeks later, you know, I got a phone call from my president asking me, are you home? I said, yes, I’m home. He said, I have something for you. And he came to my door with an envelope and he was my third mission call.
And he handed it to me and he said, here it is. I think this is that. And I was so excited. I sat down with him and opened it and read it. And it was you been called to serve in Mexico City, its mission. And to be very, very honest, I was a little disappointed. But I just in that moment, I just prayed. And there’s my stake. President say you need to take make a decision right now and let me know because I’m going to call the Brethren and and I just you know, I cried.
I said a little prayer and I said I would go and do just like Nephi. You know, it wasn’t what I wanted to be. It was it was what he wanted me to be. And, you know, I know the technical details of why I couldn’t leave the country, but I knew that it was more than that. You know, and I’ve been told by several leaders that those mission goals were no mistakes. They were extended by a prophet of God, and I will live to see the day what those mission calls unfulfilled.
So still looking forward to going to those places and serving some kind of mission, which is sort of just whenever you’re saying, yes, Elder Bednar gave a talk called called to the work in. One of the things he said is an assignment to labor in a specific place is essential and important, but secondary to a call to the work. And so that’s a really important thing for us to remember. Would you like to kind of lead us into what is this work that the Lord is asking everyone to do?
Well, I thank you for that introduction, because as we talk about this, missionary work is hard. And it’s interesting, if you look back in section seventy one, as you were saying, it wasn’t just Joseph in Sydney that were called to be missionaries, but there were many others of the elders that were also asked to go out and do a missionary call because of what was happening with Asra Booth and other people that were spreading lies about the church.
And so if you read specifically in verse six, he says, for under him that we see with it shall be given more abundantly, even power. This was the blessing that was supposedly given these missionaries. And so they were expecting to go out and preach the gospel. And many people coming into the church, you know, that this would be they would have power and abundantly. And after a month and a half of difficulty and struggling and people thought listening to them, the elders came to Joseph and asked him, are we doing this wrong?
You know, we’re encountering all these difficulties. People are not joining the church in droves or abundantly. And that’s when we get section seventy five. And if we look here and see what the Lord’s answer is, it’s a it’s an interesting one. He’s not saying that he’s going to fix things. Instead, he asked us to do something different. And this is verses three through five. Behold, I say to you that it is my will that you should go forth and not Terry.
Neither be idle, but labor with your might lifting up your voices, as with the sound of a Trump proclaiming the truth according to the revelations and commandments which I have given you. And thus, if you are faithful, you shall be laden with many sheaves and crowned with honor and glory and immortality and eternal life. Now, he doesn’t say when that’s going to happen, right. And yet at the very first verse, he talks about don’t Terri, don’t the idol.
And this idea of Idol is a little bit different than the idol we talked before about in terms of sitting and watching Netflix all day or having this idea of leisure time versus Idol time or idleness instead. Here I think of this idol as being like an idol of a car kind of on hold your on hold where you’re just kind of not going forward. You’re just sticking in one place or you say this is just too hard. I’m not going to do it anymore.
You know, what’s the use? Those kinds of questions come in to put yourself on pause.
So if you look at verse twenty nine, the Lord also kind of repeats this. He says, let every man be diligent in all things and the Iler shall not have a place in the church except he repent and mend his ways. Now, missionary work is hard. It’s really difficult. And I love this story of President Hinckley, where he talked about when he was a missionary in London. He had brought a young man into the church and then World War to hit.
And he kind of lost track of where this young man was. But after the war, he purposely tried to find where he was and he did. But he found out that this young man had left the church. And so during the next decades, whenever he was in Europe, he would have lunch with him or go out to dinner. He would send a material about the church. And then just before this conference talk, this man had passed away and he had gotten a letter from his wife saying, you were the best friend my husband ever had.
But then President Hinckley says, tears coarse my cheeks. When I read that letter, I knew I had failed. I have only one comfort. I tried. I have only one sorrow. I failed. And I think that’s oftentimes how we feel about missionary work. But there is hope President Lorenzo Snow also acknowledges the fact that as missionaries here in the latter days, oftentimes we will not have success. In matter of fact, the opposite. We will have turmoil.
We will have trouble.
We were terrible disappointments, also disappointments, just like President Hinckley. And yet, he says, never mind the indifference of some of those among whom you will labor and the little disappointments you will meet with the spirit of the Lord will be upon you and you will stir up the spirits of those to whom you minister. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll join the church, but they will have something stir within them and conquer their indifference. You will be satisfied you have accomplished the work you have been sent to perform.
So this is what happens to us when we labored diligently. We are blessed because we become more like our savior Jesus Christ. Now, I think it’s interesting in the doctrine and covenants, there are more references to the word idol than any of the other scriptures. And a matter of fact, if you look up on the slide right now, I have some of those references and many of them are commandments. The Lord says thou shalt not be idle or cease to be idle.
And I think the reason why he’s using this is, like I said, it’s more of a you know, make sure you try to make sure you labor diligently, that you are not in a place where you say, I’m not going to try anymore.
Right. I think there is that paralysis that we sometimes feel when things aren’t going well and we just say, I’m just going to stop. This isn’t working. Yeah.
Yeah. So for me, I love the analogy that C.S. Lewis gives. He talks about how oftentimes when we have temptations or hard times, it’s like a strong wind. And it’s easy for us to say, you know what, the strong wind is here. It’s too hard to move forward. So I’m just going to stop. I’m just going to lie down and let the wind kind of go over me. And he says a silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means.
This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. You find out the strength of the wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. And sometimes we lie down and say, I’m not going to try anymore. And then he says and Christ, because he was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means present. I also gave a wonderful talk about being diligent and for me he has a little mantra that he says whenever he wants to stop trying, he said, When I find myself drawn away from priesthood duties by other interests and when my body begs for rest, I give to myself this rallying cry.
Remember him? The Lord is our perfect example of diligence in service. He is our captain. He called us. He goes before us. He chose us to follow him and to bring others with us. So I wanted to ask you, how do you labor with diligence, with all your might, even in the face of trials, indifference, difficulties, these same things that these missionaries had when you were sharing those quotes? The thought came to mind for me, you know, the analogy of the wind and how the savior is the one who commands the wind and the heat know we have examples of when he told the wind to cease or whatever.
And so I think that sometimes when we feel the weight of that, we feel the strength of that. And we are weary that we can call upon him and trust that he can help us even just to take one more step or whatever. And I know that for me, that’s when I truly do have to kind of draw on the enabling power of the atonement of Jesus Christ and let him help me do what I’m feeling like I cannot do.
And sometimes that lifting up is a great blessing in our lives, in that it strengthens our testimony of the savior Jesus Christ and his enabling power. And I know you had an interesting experience on your mission. Yes, I did, actually. I was just thinking about it. You know, when I was back in my mission in Mexico City and Alabama, we had the honor to have him come and speak to us, all the missionaries in Mexico City.
And he you know, he talked about the work in Mexico and he was pleased with the work that he was being done out there. And towards the end, he left a few minutes for questions and answers. So there’s a line of elders. And at the very end, it was me. I was perhaps the only sister. And he I did speak English back then, so I was a little intimidated. So I had this question in my heart.
I was very overwhelmed by how difficult it was to go and preach the gospel as a new convert. It was really testing my faith and inheres in a. Also over the law, an expert on preaching the gospel, so I thought, I cannot miss this opportunity and ask my question. And I stood up and through an interpreter, I was able to ask him in and express my you know, this is very hard why people are not accepting the gospel.
I was a brand new missionary and I went through the process of being a convert to the gospel. And to me, it was easy to see the truth, embraced it, embraced it and decided I’m going to go and look for people like me who are looking for more truth. And I thought he was going to be easy work dried. And I was looking for those people like me, but I was getting rejected a lot. And Elder Altobello helped me focus on what was really my calling.
He he said, Sister, you are doing a great job. You’re going out there every day preaching the gospel. Your job is to invite people to come on to Christ. It is not your job to make sure that they accept it or not. Many would not accept the gospel of Jesus Christ and, you know, failing because they rejected. And it was just wonderful. I was being taught by an apostle of the Lord why my true mission was and I it changed everything for me.
I went on preaching the gospel and I failed many times. And I found a lot of wonderful people who accepted the gospel. But I knew that they that that was the real call that I had to serve.
Oh, that’s beautiful. That is wonderful, and I do agree with you that the savior is our example. And when we think about his life, when we remember him, just like President Irene told us to, to say that, you know, to say, OK, when I want to give up, I’m going to look forward to doing that. I love the example of President Irene, of having that in our heart. Remember him? We want to give up, know, OK, indeed.
There are so many blessings that as missionaries we receive and not just missionaries, you know, we are all called to preach the gospel. And if we do that, we will indeed see many blessings. I, as a missionary, receive the blessing, see in many acts of the gospel and see the transformation in their lives. But also I saw a lot of blessings in my life, in my own life as a new convert with a very chilling testimony, I was able to go through my mission in and strengthen my faith and trust in the Lord.
And I found this quote that talks about the blessings of those who faithfully proclaim the gospel. And this is why President Spencer W. Kimball and the quote says, Sharing the gospel brings peace and joy into your entire lives, enlarges our own hearts and souls in behalf of others, increases our own faith, strengthens our own relationship with the Lord, and increases our own understanding of gospel truths. Those are amazing blessings to receive just for our job of just for the work of sharing the gospel on its own.
Even if we don’t find like big numbers, many people being baptized because of our preaching, these blessings are enough on themselves and sometimes also as missionaries or just in order for so proclaiming the gospel, we might get very, very discouraged that we don’t see in the fruits of our labors and or we might feel inadequate for the work of preaching the gospel. We might feel like maybe we’re not perfect. I have felt that sometimes. OK, so Elder, as Whitney spoke about his grandfather’s inadequate feelings when he received this call to be a bishop and he said, I cannot see a bishop in myself, Brother Joseph.
But you say fellows will. I will try so the prophet Ansara can only go and ask Father for yourself. And that’s what we must do when we’re feeling these inadequate feelings about a colony that we’ve been extended. We must go in a humility to Heavenly Father and get a confirmation that is indeed his calling and get the assurance that he will be there for us and preparing us to serve this going and providing for us a way to fulfill this. That is something I have personally experienced in my life, in my own life.
Going back to my mission times two, I went through the missionary training center and I was there for the whole training. I had to learn a language. So he was a very short period of time. So beat towards the end. I requested to meet with the president of the MTC because I was feeling extreme inadequacy feelings. I was not feeling prepared to go and serve. As I mentioned before, I was a brand new member of the church.
I’ve been just in the church for a year and after going through all this training, I realized I know so little about all these scriptures. I didn’t have enough time to read all our scriptures in the church. And I felt like I’m not ready to go and preach the gospel.
You had the you had the enthusiasm, but not all the knowledge.
But I will say this with our missionaries. The best missionaries were oftentimes those that had just joined the church because of that. And they were on fire. They were on fire. And they also understood other people’s feelings that were also looking into the gospel so they could really relate to what they were going through.
That is so true. And that was actually resonates with the advice that I received and the guidance I met with the MTC president and he he spoke to me. He said, sister, that is very natural to have those feelings, especially because of your circumstances. And he went on to ask me questions like, do you have a testimony of the savior of that? You have a testimony, the restoration, the testimony of the Book of Mormon. And he asked me, why are you here again?
So he brought those things to me, remembers, and he said, you have what it takes to come and preach the gospel with power, trusting your heavenly father know the Holy Ghost will be there with you to speak to these people and you will find those and you will be successful. And needless to say, I went on with my mission call and left and went to preach with power. It wasn’t like that every day, obviously, but I had to go back to remember those things that he brought up to me.
And and you you already brought this up. But it’s so important to realize that he’ll do that with any calling our assignment. He gives us right, President Monson always said whom the Lord calls he qualifies and and he does that.
And it goes back to President Irene’s mantra of remember him. Right. So what is our ACT doctrine for this week? I love the fact that we’ve got so much about missionary work and the difficulties of different callings that we have in our lives. Do either of you have an idea for an act and doctrine invitation?
Well, I think that we can kind of combine all of these thoughts and think about whatever callings or assignments we have right now, whether it’s to minister, whether it’s to serve as a missionary, whatever that might be, or a mom or mom where we need help to, you know, and then if we think about those things, maybe we can ask the Lord. How we can give more of our effort and not be idle, not be paralyzed, but what we can do to really work labor with your might and be diligent.
I agree. I love that. I think I’m excited to really be working with that this week and to remember him just like president. I said. Thank you so much for this discussion. So appreciate it.
Thank you. Thank you, ladies.